#2078: Gladiator Hulk

GLADIATOR HULK

MARVEL SELECT (DST)

After exiting stage right at the end of Age of Ultron, and thereby skipping the pseudo-Avengers outing in Civil War, Hulk’s return to the big screen came not in his own film (because the two lukewarm performances from before showed that audiences just aren’t there for a solo outing), but in the third film of fellow Avenger and fellow Civil War abstainer Thor, which served to (at least loosely) adapt Planet Hulk, specifically Hulk’s turn as a space gladiator.  It’s a distinctive visual to say the least, and one that pretty much every toy company jumped on, including Diamond Select Toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gladiator Hulk was released a few months after Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters in November of 2017.  Though slightly delayed, he wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the Infinity War figures.  The figure stands over 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Hulk was a brand-new sculpt, and a pretty darn solid one at that.  DST had already done some solid work on the Avengers and Age of Ultron Hulks, but this one really takes things the the next level, but in terms of detailing and in terms of how the sculpt and the articulation work together.  Mobility on this figure pretty much the same as you’d get from the equivalent Legends release, and it’s all very well-worked-in on top of it.  The design is quite close to Hulk’s renders from the movie, with only one notable inaccuracy, and that’s even limited to the alternate head.  The detailing on the figure is definitely top-notch.  It’s sharp, and there’s plenty of texturing all throughout, even on the heads, which is an area where DST can sometimes have a little trouble.  His main head is sporting his gladiator helmet from the movie, which is quite well-defined, and by virtue of being a permanent fixture escapes some of the issues that Hasbro’s BaF ran into.  The alternate head removes the helmet, revealing a head of hair that’s…not quite right for the movie.  He’s got a pretty distinctive cut there, but in DST’s defense, pretty much none of the promotional material had his helmet off, and they really aren’t *that* far off.  Perhaps my biggest complaint about the figure, still has to do with those heads, namely how difficult it is to swap between them.  The intense detailing is really awesome, but it, coupled with a tight neck joint, meant I tore up my hands a fair bit trying to get them off and on.  He also comes wearing the un-helmeted head, meaning you encounter this issue right out of the box, which can be a little off-putting.  The paintwork is some of the best I’ve seen on a Select figure, with a clean base application and a ton of accent work on pretty much every piece of the sculpt.  While he may not have the fancy face printing of a Hasbro release, he’s still quite lifelike in that regard, and just generally looks like an occupant of the lived-in world of Ragnarok, as he should.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Hulk is also packed with two sets of hands in both fists and gripping poses, as well as his hammer and axe from the movie, which, like the figure, are superbly detailed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the Legends figures for Ragnarok were released, I wasn’t in the financial position to collect every Legends BaF as they hit, and Gladiator Hulk was one I ended up skipping.  Several months later, when I was looking to fill in some holes in my collection, this figure was released, and I felt like he was the much easier alternative to trying to find all those BaF pieces.  He’s probably the happiest I’ve been with a Select purchase, though I do have to admit he’s one of those figures I kept forgetting I had (which is why it took me over a year to finally get around to reviewing this freaking thing).  He integrates amazingly well with my Legends, and is just one of the better Hulk figures out there.

Advertisements

#1994: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL SELECT (DST)

The retail product for the fourth Avengers film, Avengers: Endgame has officially started hitting shelves in preparation for the film’s April 26th release date.  However, with Endgame coming out just one year after its predecessor Infinity War, there’s just a touch of overlap, as the last of the IW product is still making its way to shelves.  I’m doing my best to keep up with it all (I ended up having to do a lot of picking and choosing during the onslaught of IW stuff) and to that end, I’m looking at Diamond Select Toys’ take on Captain America’s Infinity War appearance.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is one of the four Infinity War-based figures from the 2018 lineup of Marvel Select.  He ended up taking a little while to make it to shelves, and just started showing up in full force a few weeks ago.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  As far as scaling goes, he’s definitely nearer the taller end of Selects.  I had ever so slightly been hoping he might follow Daredevil’s lead, and potentially be closer to Legends scaling.  Of course one can’t really blame them for sizing him this way; he’s in proper scale with most of their other offerings, which wasn’t really true if DD.  This figure has a sculpt, handled by Gentle Giant Studios (who handle most of the MCU Legends as well), which appears to have at least some parts in common with the Civil War figure. It’s really for the best that this figure arrived so long after the movie; Cap’s “Nomad” design went through quite a few changes right up to production of the film, resulting in a lot of inaccuracies on his other figures.  This one is far more accurate to the final product.  He’s got his proper hair length (which neither Hasbro figure had), as well as both gloves, properly styled, and all of the appropriate wear and tear to his uniform.  The details of the uniform are also nice and sharp, and I really dig that texture work.  The head sculpt is probably the weakest aspect of the figure.  Its detailing is on the softer side, and it doesn’t quite have a spot-on Evans likeness.  That said, the likeness is still closer than all of the Hasbro attempts barring the unmasked Civil War head and certainly an immense improvement over prior unmasked Cap heads from DST, and the softer detailing may be more linked to the paint.  Speaking of the paint, slight thickness on the head application aside, it’s not a terrible offering.  The general appearance is accurate to the film, and there’s quite a bit of accent work going on.  In addition to the accuracy of the man figure, something else that really sets this guy apart is his accessory compliment.  In addition to a selection of eight different hands, as well as a display stand, he includes his Wakandan replacement shields in both collapsed and deployed configurations.  Prior Cap figures have been lucky to get a single shield, but this one can appropriately dual weild, and the deployed versions even have a sliding segment in the front like we saw in the movie.  By far, these are the most accurate versions of the shields we got on a small scale figure, and I would count them as a major selling point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Legends version of this Cap was definitely the biggest disappointment of that set for me. I really liked the Nomad look, and such an inaccurate figure wasn’t cutting it.  I considered the Figuarts release, but he just traded in some inaccuracies for another set of them, and lacked the shields entirely, so I passed.  Once I saw the prototype for this guy, I was definitely on-board, making him an easy buy when he showed up at Cosmic Comix when he showed up a few weeks ago.  While I’m a little bummed that the best version of this guy out there doesn’t quite fit with the rest of my IW figures, there’s no denying this is a solid figure, and he’s nice enough that I’m probably just going to fudge the scale a bit on my shelf.

 

#1862: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL SELECT (DST)

Did I mention that I liked Daredevil Season 3?  <checks back to my last Daredevil-related review> Yes, yes, I did.  Well, it bears repeating: I really liked Daredevil Season 3.  After being somewhat let-down by all of the post Luke Cage Season 1 offerings from Netflix, I was very happy to see a return to what I’d loved so much about Daredevil‘s first (and the majority of its second) season.  It’s not a huge change for Daredevil to come along and surprise us all with its quality, though, since Season 1 did the same thing back in 2015.  It was such a surprise, that none of Marvel’s usual licensees had actually gotten the licenses for any proper merchandise.  In the case of both Hasbro and DST, their first DD product wouldn’t come until a fair bit after the show’s second season had hit.  I looked at Hasbro’s version of old-horn-head back when he was new and was of mixed opinions, so I decided to finally get around to giving his main competition, the Marvel Select release, a try.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Daredevil was released as a standalone offering as part of Marvel Select‘s 2017 line-up of figures, hitting in the fall of last year.  Matt’s sporting his proper Daredevil gear from Season 2 of the show, which is, admittedly, the more distinctive look.  That said, I’m personally still holding out that someone (other than Minimates, that is) will give us Matt’s all-black number.  This figure was originally solicited with his damaged Season 1-style helmet from after his run-in with Punisher, but by the time he hit shelves, he was actually sporting his proper Season 2 mask, thereby making him distinct from his Legends counterpart.  That was actually a pretty smart move on DST’s part.  The figure is on the shorter side of the Select scale, standing 6 1/2 inches tall, and he sports 30 points of articulation.  The height’s sort of a curious thing, because it means he’s not really in-scale with anything else from his own line, but he *is* kind of in-scale with Legends.  It’s not a perfect match, but he’s less than a quarter-inch off from the proper Legends release, so it’s very fudgable.  The sculpt is unique to this figure, and it’s reasonable.  It feels a little bit like the antithesis of the Hasbro figure.  The build is certainly less wonky, and the overall appearance is more balanced and appealing, but he loses the really nice texture and small detail work of that figure, and while the articulation is certainly usable, it’s not very well worked into the sculpt.  The prototype shots and even early test shots with the new head sported a pretty solid likeness of Charlie Cox, but something was lost in the production process, leaving the figure to look a good deal more generic.  He still looks reasonable from the right angle, but head-on’s a real killer.  His paintwork is mostly rather straightforward.  The blacks and reds aren’t the most eye-catching, but they’re a fairly decent match for his show appearance.  The face suffers the same trouble that most figures with that sort of stubbly, “I haven’t shaved in a day or two” look suffer, where the quality varies widely from figure to figure, and it always looks kind of sloppy. My figure looks reasonable enough, but after what Hasbro’s been doing with such things on their recent face-printed figures, he’s a little out there.  Matt is packed with his billy club, which can separate into two (surprisingly differently-sized) pieces, as well as a spare set of gripping hands to hold them.  There’s also a display stand modeled after a warehouse or something, and an articulated stand to assist in more dynamic poses.  The articulated stand is great in theory, but less so in practice, as the joints are too weak to hold Matt up, meaning he’s still got to be more or less balanced to begin with.  Still, it’s better than nothing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

DST’s Daredevil hit at a bad time for me to pick him up, so I didn’t, and I just never had the chance to double back around and get him.  I finally grabbed him a couple of weeks ago during Cosmic Comix’s “Biggest Sale of the Year!”, because I’m still coming down from that Season 3 high, I guess.  I was hoping for a figure to replace the Legends release, but I’ll be honest, I knew getting into this that that likely wouldn’t be the case.  This figure addresses some of the Legends figure’s flaws, but trades them in for some of his own, resulting in another figure that’s shy of being perfect.  Oh well, maybe Mezco’s got the answer…

#1208: Colossus

COLOSSUS

MARVEL SELECT

colossusms1

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve reviewed a Marvel Select figure. <Looks back at reviews>  Holy crap, it’s been 506 reviews since I last looked at a Marvel Select figure.  That’s quite a while.  Well, why not pull something out of the archives, then?  Today, I’ll be jumping over into the world of Marvel’s merry mutants, the X-Men, and looking at one of my personal favorite members of the team, Piotr Rasputin, aka Colossus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

colossusmswilsonColossus is the 75th figure in Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Select line, released in 2012.  He’s one of only two figures to hit that year, largely due to the focus on a certain team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes who happened to have a movie released that year.  He continued the trend of X-Men based upon the early ‘80s line-up of the team (the other X-Man from 2012, Storm, also followed this trend).  The figure stands almost 9 inches tall (he’s a big guy) and he has 30 points of articulation.  He’s one of the earlier instances of near-Marvel-Legends levels of articulation for a Select figure, and it’s genuinely impressive just how much movement they were able to get into this guy, given his mass.  Colossus sported an all-new sculpt.  It doesn’t appear to be based on any particular artist’s rendition of Piotr, but it does lean a little more modern in terms of design sensibilities than a lot of Colossus figures do.  This is most notable in the face, which lacks the usual rounded features in favor of something more sharp and angular.  While I can’t say it’s my go-to Colossus look, it’s certainly not a bad looking rendition of the character.  The body continues some of the stylization present in the face; earlier renditions of Colossus tended to be more consistent in build, but this guy’s definitely favoring his upper body.  He’s almost sporting Bruce Timm anatomy (though he’s definitely not Bruce Timm styled).  There’s one oddity about the body sculpt, specifically the upper body: the upper portion of his tunic is separate from his actual torso.  While it’s not out of the ordinary for such an element to be a separate piece, the fact that it’s not actual fixed in place in any way is slightly odd.  There’s a fully sculpted torso under there, which leads me to wonder if there was a scrapped variant of this figure sporting his outback costume.  Regardless, you’ll only really notice the separate tunic piece when picking the figure up, and it stays in place well enough.  It also adds an extra dimension to the figure, which is always cool.  In terms of paint, Colossus is very nicely rendered.  The colors are all nice and very vibrant, and everything is very cleanly applied.  There’s a nice subtle accenting to the yellow portion of the tunic, which keeps it from being too plans.  I also quite like the metallic work, especially on the arm bracers.  A lot of the X-Men Select figures included a section of the Danger Room as a display base, and Colossus was no exception.  Well, generally speaking.  He comes with a spike wall, clearly meant to be from the Danger Room, but it’s not exactly a stand, since it doesn’t really support him.  Still, it’s a cool piece, and a nice addition to the armory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Colossus was my second Marvel Select figure, picked up during Cosmic Comix’s Biggest Sale of the Year in 2012.  I had initially been planning to pick up Ultron during that year’s sale, but I got a subscriber coupon a week prior and got him then.  I still wanted to take advantage of the sale, and I’ve always liked Colossus, so this guy was my next choice.  The old Marvel Legends figure has always been one of my favorites, so this guy had quite a bit to live up to, and I think he did just that.  He’s really just a very fun figure.

#0702: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL SELECT

AntManMS5

Ant-Man was a cool movie. After things went pretty colossal with Age of Ultron, it was kind of refreshing to move back to a smaller scale.  And who better to move back a smaller scale with than Ant-Man, dude who shrinks. That seems downright ingenious. As the latest smash-hit of the Marvel Universe, Ant-Man has found himself privy to more than a few action figures, including Diamond Selects non-Minimates line, Marvel Select.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManMS4As noted above, this Ant-Man is a part of the Marvel Select line. There are two different versions of this figure available: a basic one, with just the helmeted head, offered at specialty stores, and one with both helmeted and un-helmented heads, offered exclusively through the Disney Store. I’ve got the Disney exclusive version, because I felt the need to own a tiny Paul Rudd. Just go with it. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Ant-Man is, obviously, based on his movie appearance, though, like pretty much all of the other movie Ant-Men, he’s based on slightly out of date promotional artwork. This means that a few of the details on the face of the mask are a little bit out of place compared to the final design. Because of this, the figure feels slightly unfinished, or at least the helmet does. However, this is hardly DST’s fault, and at least they didn’t give us the weird half mask thing that Hasbro did. The rest of the sculpt is a bit closer to the final look, and it’s quite nicely handled. There’s plenty of texturing on the suit and the various metal parts look appropriately machined. Due to the interchangeability of the head, the hoses in the back have a tendency to pop out of place, which is really annoying, but ultimately not very noticeable. This figure definitely has the best paint we’ve seen so far on a movie Ant-Man, which is definitely cool. Everything’s pretty cleanly handled, and the gradation on the red parts looks quite good. He also exhibits a greater deal of smaller detailing, especially on the sliver parts, than other Ant-Men. All in all, very solid work. The figure includes the previously mentioned un-helmeted head, as well as three pairs of hands (fists, open gesture, and relaxed), and a miniature version of himself. The extra head isn’t spot-on, but it has a decent Paul Rudd likeness, which is really only held back by somewhat below par paintwork. It’s not terrible, but it could be a little better. The hands swap out easily enough, and are definitely a step up from the other Ant-Men with their permanently splayed hands. Mini Ant-Man is, obviously, not as detailed as his larger counterpart, but he’s got a decent level of detail and looks pretty good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Ant-Man at the same time as Sunday’s Hulkbuster Iron Man. He was another purchase courtesy of my always amazing parents. When all the various Ant-Man stuff was announced, this was the figure I wanted the most. In the end, he’s definitely the best of the currently available Ant-Men, which isn’t a small (heh!) feat.

AntManMS3

#0698: Iron Man Hulkbuster

IRON MAN HULKBUSTER

MARVEL SELECT

HulkBusterMS1

Iron Man has quite a lot of armors over the years.  Many of them have just been slight updates on the basic day-to-day operations type of armors, but there have also been a fair number of armors that are specialized.  Things like Hydro Armor, Inferno Armor, Space Armor, and, heck, even Samurai Armor.  But the most famous specialized armor by far is the one designed to tackle Bruce Banner’s Jade Giant alter ego the Hulk; the armor most commonly referred to as the Hulkbuster armor.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HulkBusterMS2The Hulkbuster armor was released this past summer as a Disney Store exclusive figure from DST’s Marvel Select line.  The figure stands roughly 9 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation (counting the shoulderpads).  Design-wise, the armor is based on the Hulkbuster look of the early 2000s, from around the time of the Extremis armor.  I’m more partial to the 90s Modular design, but this one was fairly prominent for a while, so I don’t mind too much.  The sculpt is a very nice translation of the design into three dimensions.  Its appropriately machined looking and symmetric, which is always nice on an Iron Man figure.  If you want to get really technical, an argument could be made that the figure is a tad undersized to go with the Select figures, but the bulk of the figure is substantial enough that it’s not a big deal.  The biggest issue with the sculpt is the poses on the hands.  One is closed and the other is wide open, and the fingers arent in anyway articulated, so this is a little limiting.  The prototype shots show him with two fists, so it’s likely he was supposed to have interchangeable hands at one point.  Presumably, they didn’t cost out.  While varitey is a nice thing in many cases, I can’t help but feel a pair of fists would have been a better choice here.  The figure’s paint work is pretty strong; the metallic red in particular is quite striking.  Most of the application is pretty good, though there is some bleed over on the transition between red and gold on the waist.  It’s quite minor, so it’s forgivable.  Hulkbuster includes no accessories, but it’s understandable, what with the size.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Hulkbuster here was purchased for me by my parents, from the Disney Store, on my birthday.  Did you get all that?  I wasn’t sure I was going to get this guy innitially, but seeing him in person was enough to sway me.  All in all, he’s got a few flaws, but he’s a lot of fun.

#0555: Ultron

ULTRON

MARVEL SELECT

UltronMS1

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 1 day remaining.

Man, thing are really moving along now! Seriously, I can’t begin to describe how exciting stuff is right now! It’s not just that Age of Ultron is being released tomorrow (though that is kind of a big deal), it’s also that today and tomorrow I get to review my two favorite Ultron figures. And these two rule. Super hard.

Now, after Hasbro gave us a whole two (count ‘em: two) classic Ultrons, the other major Marvel toymaker, Diamond Select Toys decided they needed to step up their game and brought Ultron into their Marvel Select line. And boy did they step up their game.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

UltronMS2Ultron was released as part of the aforementioned Marvel Select line. He was released in the last quarter of 2013, and, like just about every other figure in this line, he was a solo release. The figure stands 7 inches in height and has 32 points of articulation. Ultron is one of the earliest Select figures to implement a lot of articulation, and he actually benefits quite a bit from it (unlike a certain ToyBiz release…). Some of the joints are a little tight, but he really does have some great range. Ultron features a sculpt that is unique to this particular figure. From head to toe, this guy is a pretty direct translation of the classic Ultron design. Every piece of this figure is cleanly sculpted and well-proportioned. The articulation is, by and large, pretty smoothly worked in. The only real stand outs are the hip joints, but given how Ultron is a robot, they really don’t look too out of place. The head sculpt is easily my favorite piece of the figure. It’s an excellent translation of the comic design. It’s made up of three separate pieces, allowing a nice touch of depth to the assembly. The eyes and mouth are laid out in just the right places and feature proper sizing. Then there are the antennae. Oh, the antennae. They’re just so perfectly placed and sized, which is pretty much unique to this particular version of the character. In general, the construction of this figure feels a lot more solid than yesterday’s MU figure, which is definitely a nice difference. Ultron’s paintwork is pretty straightforward, but it’ still pretty good. The silver is nice and consistent, and seems to be just the right vibrancy for the character. The red of the eyes and mouth is appropriately bold, and the black lines help to bring out some of the sculpted details. All of the paint is clean, with no real slop or bleed over. Ultron only includes one accessory, but it’s a pretty good one. He has a display stand, designed to look like the wreckage of the Avengers Mansion. Ant-Man and Wasp lie on the ground, defeated, and there even some broken arrows courtesy of Hawkeye. It’s really well sculpted, with lots of texture and detail, and it’s a fantastic addition to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, it’s all Ultron’s fault. How, you ask? Well, before this Ultron, I had managed to steer totally clear of the Marvel Select line. Then, stupid Ultron had to come along and be the Ultron I’d been waiting to own for, like, ten years. And then my local comic book store just had to have a promotion where subscribers could get any one item in the store for 40% off. So, I bought Ultron. And he’s just a fantastic figure. Seriously, he’s possibly the best Ultron figure ever made. So, of course, I had now broken into Marvel Select. There was no going back. Now I have 14 Marvel Select figures. Thanks Ultron….

#0528: Hawkeye

HAWKEYE

MARVEL SELECT

HawkeyeMS1

Man, who’d have guessed that good ol’ “Hawk-guy” here would become a household name. Not me, that’s for sure. I mean, sure, the guy’s the quintessential Avenger, but Hawkeye? All that said, I can’t say I’m all that upset about the character getting some recognition. He’s always been one of my favorite characters. And, as everyone knows, more recognition means more merchandise, which totally includes action figures! So, let’s have a look at this here Hawkeye figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HawkeyeMS2Hawkeye is the latest release in Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Select line. The figure is currently exclusive to the Disney Store (as well as Marvel’s online shop) but that may or may not stick. Amazingly enough, this is actually Hawkeye’s third figure in this line; so far he’s had one movie figure and one comics figure. The last comic based figure was a more classically inspired take on the character, whereas this figure represents Hawkeye in his current costume. Hawkeye stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. The figure sports a brand-new sculpt. In the past, Select figure sculpts can have a tendency to be …uneven. I’m happy to say that isn’t the case here. From top to bottom, this sculpt is fantastically handled. Hawkeye is clearly based upon the illustrations of David Aja, who was the primary penciller on the last Hawkeye series. Aja has a rather distinctive style. It’s minimal on heavy detail work, but it has a lot of character. This sculpt manages to translate Aja’s work to three dimensions without making Hawkeye look out of place with the rest of the Select figures, which is an incredible balance. The figure features two head sculpts: one with sunglasses and one without. Unlike the recent Marvel Legends Coulson, these are two completely unique sculpts. The sunglass-ed head seems to be the most “default” of the two, though it’s also the weaker piece. The expression is a little on the bland side, and it lacks the Aja-style of the rest of the piece. It’s still a great piece of work from a technical standpoint, though. The second head features a more battered and bruised Clint Barton. Over the course of Fraction and Aja’s run on the series, poor Clint takes quite a beating, and this sculpt represents that really well. It also sports an expression with just the right amount of smarm for the character. As great as the rest of the sculpt is, it’s hard to beat this particular piece. Of course, a good sculpt still needs quality paintwork. Fortunately, this figure mostly delivers on that front. While there are a few spots of misaligned paint (particularly on the sunglass-ed head), but the base work is generally pretty clean. The costume also features some pretty neat weathering to add a little texture, and it looks really great. Hawkeye is accessorized with his signature bow, six arrows of varying styles, an extra right hand, a two piece crossbow, and, best of all, Hawkeye’s pet dog Lucky, aka Pizza Dog. The bow is cool enough, given its rather straight forward nature. The arrows are well sculpted, but since neither of his quivers can hold them, they just sort of get shunted to the side. The crossbow is suitable, but none of his hands really hold it all that well. Pizza Dog is a really cool piece, especially given the importance of the character in Fraction and Aja’s run. He’s pretty well sculpted and painted, with one glaring issue: he’s got two eyes where Pizza Dog only should have one. I guess this is a pre-adoption Pizza Dog.

HawkeyeMS4 HawkeyeMS5

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawkeye marks the second of a new method of release for Marvel Select, where the figure just shows up at Disney Stores, with little build up, sort of as a surprise. The first was Thor, who I passed on without much thought. But then came Hawkeye. I love the character, I love the run this figure’s based on. How could I not buy it. So, when it was listed on the Marvel Shop, I caved and bought it. Yay me. This is a pretty big statement, but this figure puts every other Marvel Select figure to shame. The sculpt is there, the paint is there, and the accessories are there. This is a phenomenal figure, through and through.

HawkeyeMS3

#0445: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL SELECT

Today, we make our way into the back half of the Christmas Reviews, with Day Eight. This review breaks from the Doctor Who and Aliens theme, instead turning to the Marvel Super Heroes branch of things, which is something of an “old faithful” for me.

One of my favorite movies last year was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Like any good superhero movie, it had its fair share of toys, offering the movie’s characters in a variety of scales. My personal favorite of the bunch were Hasbro’s Marvel Legends offerings. However, there was one issue; as cool as Hasbro’s versions of Cap, Widow, and the Winter Soldier were, the line did not include a figure of Falcon, one of my favorite additions from the movie. I tried to make do with the smaller scale 3 ¾ inch figure, but he just wasn’t the same quality. Enter Marvel Select.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was released as part of Diamond Select’s Marvel Select line. Falcon is one of the two figures they released based on CA:TWS (The other was Stealth Suit Cap). The figure is based on the character’s appearance during the final battle sequence of the film, once he’s all decked out in his full uniform. Falcon is a little over 7 inches in height (making him a full inch taller than the Legends Cap) and he features 22 points of articulation. While he’s not as well articulated as the Legends figures, he’s certainly above the standard Select figure. The figure features a brand-new sculpt, just for Falcon. Overall, it’s pretty well done. The proportions are nice, the uniform has some great texturing and layering, and the head sculpt has a decent likeness of Anthony Mackie. It’s not without its faults, though. The head could stand to be a little more textured, and I’m not really sure what’s up with the positioning of his hands. It seems like he’s meant to have something to hold (maybe his guns from the movie?) but nothing is provided, so his hands are just doing this “Kung Fu Grip” sort of thing. The figure’s paint is pretty good, though still just shy of perfect. The work on the uniform is fantastic. It’s nice and clean, and there’s some very nice, small detail work. The paintwork on the head has similar issues to the sculpt; it’s just too smooth and clean. This is especially evident on his facial hair, which almost looks drawn on. That said, the paint really isn’t bad. Falcon included a pair of wings and a display stand made to look like a piece of the Helicarrier. The wings are well sculpted, but I really wish there were a way to pose them or attach them a bit differently. As it is, they each have a square peg on the end that plugs into his back harness, meaning they can only be attached sticking straight out. Something similar to the Minimate (which allowed the wings to either be attached to the harness or held in his hands) would have been much preferred here. The stand is pretty cool, I guess, though I don’t really see myself using it much.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon was another gift from my super cool, super supportive parents. Of all the gifts I received this year, Falcon seems the most “slow burn” (in fact he was the very last of my gifts to actually be taken out of its package, almost a week after Christmas. I kinda felt bad about that,) but he’s a great figure of a great character. Sure, he’s a little too large to fit with my Legends figures, but at least he’s a cool figure in his own right. Scale I can fudge, bad figure less so.

#0403: Chitauri Footsoldier

CHITAURI FOOTSOLDIER

MARVEL SELECT

When the Avengers movie was a few months away from release, solicitations and advertisements started coming out for the various tie-ins. The interesting thing about them was that they all listed Loki’s army under the term “REDACTED.” Speculation ran rampant about just who these mysterious foes were. Everything pointed to the Skrulls, but Fox still held the movie rights to them, thanks to the Fantastic Four license. When it was confirmed they wouldn’t be Skrulls, my first thought was “As long as it’s not the damn Chitauri.” Well…it turned out to be the damn Chitauri. However, it wasn’t all bad. See, in the comics, the Chitauri first appeared in the Ultimate universe, where they were the boring, grey, completely joyless stand-ins for the Skrull. Essentially, they just had all the fun sucked out. But, when they were brought into the Cinematic universe, the damn Chitauri were redesigned and given their own style and characterization. And now they suck less. Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Chitauri Footsoldier was released as one of the Avengers movie tie-ins in the Marvel Select line. Most of the time, Marvel Select is just single releases without any series layout, but the Avengers tie-in actually offered a whole series of figures. The Chitauri Footsoldier is based on the lower ranking aliens we saw the Avengers tearing through in the final battle in New York. The figure is 7 ¾ inches tall and features 29 points of articulation. The sculpt is completely unique to this figure. In all honesty, it’s not the most accurate depiction of the movie design. In Diamond’s defense, the figure was more than likely based on early design work, before the Chitauri were fully rendered. The helmet seems the most off; it’s a bit too squat and too wide. The eyes are a bit far apart, and overall, the figure’s details are a little smoother. The overall look isn’t too bad, and at the very least, the body’s proportions are pretty good. Point is, no one will confuse this figure for something else. The paint is about on par with the sculpt. It doesn’t have incredible details, but it’s bold and cleanly applied. The colors are also pretty close to what they should be. The Chitauri Footsoldier includes a stand, which seems to depict some sort of rooftop, and appears to be able to link up with the stands included with the other figures from the series. It would have been nice to get a blaster like the one all the Chitauri were carrying, but seeing as the only figures to include that piece are the Hot Toys versions released two years after the movie, I’d say licensors weren’t provided with the design early enough to implement such an accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I did like the redesign of the Chitauri, I didn’t have enough of an attachment to it to pay full retail for a Marvel Select figure. However, just a few weeks ago, Cosmic Comix was doing a 40% off sale on all their MS figures. At that price, I figured the Chitauri Footsoldier was worth it. The figure’s design definitely strays a bit from the movie one, but in my opinion, all the changes are for the better, resulting in a figure I thoroughly enjoy.